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We’ve to recognise workers in informal sector: Muhammad Yunus tells Rahul Gandhi

“Women are the remotest of all. Looking at the structure, this is the lowest in the structure. They have no voice, nothing in the society; traditions make them completely separate. They are the basic strength of the society.”

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Muhammad Yunus Rahul Gandhi

New Delhi, July 31 : Nobel Peace Prize winner Muhammad Yunus said on Friday that novel coronavirus had laid bare the weaknesses in the society and lamented that economics doesn’t recognise workers employed in the informal sector. He stressed the need for according recognition to such workers.

During his conversation with Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, the founder of Bangladesh Grameen Bank said: “The financial system is designed in a very wrong way. And the Covid-19 crisis has revealed the weaknesses of the society in a very ugly way; you can see it now.

“These are hidden away into the society; we get used to it; the poor people are there; migrant workers are in the city, hiding in the city. But suddenly, we see millions of them on the highway trying to go home. And then on foot, thousand-mile journeys. That is the saddest part that Covid-19 pandemic has revealed. We have to recognise these people.”

He was responding to Rahul Gandhi’s question about the finances of the poor, and the impact of poverty on women, and how this Covid-19 crisis and ensuing economic crisis was going to affect the poor.

Yunus said that economics does not recognise these people. “They call it the informal sector. Informal sector means we have nothing to do with them; they are not a part of the economy. Economy begins with the formal sector; we are busy with the formal sector. If we can only finance them, we can take care of them, pay attention to them, they’ll be moving up the ladder,” the Nobel laureate said.

Muhammad Yunus and Grameen Bank were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for 2006. He set up the Grameen Bank in Bangladesh in 1983, fueled by the belief that credit is a fundamental human right. His objective was to help the poor escape poverty by providing loans on terms suitable to them and by teaching them a few sound financial principles so they could help themselves.

Yunus said: “Women are the remotest of all. Looking at the structure, this is the lowest in the structure. They have no voice, nothing in the society; traditions make them completely separate. They are the basic strength of the society.”

“All the entrepreneurial ability, when microcredit came and went to the women, they showed how much entrepreneurial capacity they had. That’s why microcredit is known to the whole world and not just in Bangladesh because they have shown their worth. They can fight; they have the skills; artisanal skills and all kinds of skills, beautiful skills. They are all forgotten because they all belong to what we call the informal sector,” he said.

In the last four months, the Congress leader has interacted with Nobel laureate Abhijit Banerjee, epidemiologist Johan Geseicke, Professor Nicholas Burns at Harvard’s Kennedy School, former RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan, and Indian industrialist Rajiv Bajaj.

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Azim Premji and Dr Devi Shetty chosen for PCB awards

Besides them 25 senior journalists have been selected for the ‘Press Club Annual Awards’, a release said.

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Azim Premji Wipro

Bengaluru, Jan 19: The chairman of Wipro Limited Azim Premji and the founder chairman of Narayana Health Dr Devi Prasad Shetty are among those who have been selected for the annual awards given by the Press Club of Bangalore.

Premji has been chosen for ‘Press Club Person of the Year’, while Dr Shetty and actor-Director Sudeep Sanjeev have been selected for the ‘Press Club Special Award.’

Besides them 25 senior journalists have been selected for the ‘Press Club Annual Awards’, a release said.

Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa will facilitate the awardees at a function scheduled for the third week of February, it said.

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Healthcare sector revenues likely to grow by 20% in FY22: ICRA

he risks to the recovery could be in the form of additional regulatory measures, protracted restrictions on international travel and jump in Covid-19 cases”.

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New Delhi, Jan 19: Even as the healthcare sector witnessed squeezing of revenues due to the Covid-19 pandemic, its long-term outlook remains stable on the back of swift rebound in occupancy as well as structural factors, ICRA said on Monday.

The rating agency expects the occupancy of companies in the sector to bounce back substantially to 60 per cent in FY22, from the estimated occupancy of 52 per cent in FY21, and the revenue growth to be at 20 per cent in FY22, against an estimated contraction of 19 per cent in FY21, aided by a lower base as well.

There has been significant sequential improvement in occupancy every month after the sharp fall in April and the pent-up demand is also likely to support the performance, as elective procedures cannot be delayed indefinitely by domestic as well as international patients, the report noted.

Due to the high operating leverage, the EBITDA margin is likely to rise to 13 per cent in FY22, against an estimated EBITDA margin of 9 per cent in FY21. The capital expansion was already slowing down, even pre-Covid, and is likely to remain modest in FY22 as the players have adequate capacity to grow over the medium term and the near-term focus is on better utilisation of the existing facilities rather than expansion of the network.

Consequently, the capex as well as startup costs of new hospitals are likely to be much lower going forward, which will also aid profitability. The net debt is expected to stay largely range-bound, but the debt protection metrics is likely to improve significantly due to a sharp rise in accruals, ICRA said.

According to Kapil Banga, Assistant Vice President, ICRA: “The credit risk profile of entities in the sector had been on improving the trajectory over the last two years and notwithstanding the near-term disruption due to the pandemic, as well as given the essential nature of the services, ICRA believes the sector will resume on its growth trajectory in FY22. The risks to the recovery could be in the form of additional regulatory measures, protracted restrictions on international travel and jump in Covid-19 cases”.

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Excise duty collection surges 48% in FY21 on high fuel levies

The total excise duty in the last financial year was over Rs 2.39 lakh crore.

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Modi Poster on Petrol Pump

New Delhi, Jan 17 : As the government has kept excise duty on petrol and diesel elevated amid the pandemic with a view to increase revenue, the total excise duty collection during April-November FY21 has surged nearly 48 per cent as compared to the year ago period.

The excise duty collection during the first eight months of the current financial year was over Rs 1.96 lakh crore, compared to over Rs 1.32 lakh crore collected during April-November FY20, official data showed.

The collection in November 2020 was highest so far in the financial year 2020-21 at Rs 35,703 crore. In November 2019, excise duty collection stood at Rs 18,948 crore.

The total excise duty in the last financial year was over Rs 2.39 lakh crore.

As fuel prices are at record high despite low crude oil prices, demand has been raised from several quarters to reduce the excise duty on petrol and diesel to provide relief to the common man.

In the national capital, petrol is sold at a record high level of Rs 84.70 a litre while diesel is priced at Rs 74.88 per litre.

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